Suite Française with Queen’s Wind Ensemble and RND Senior Band

Jennifer Velva Bernstein Performance Hall
DAN School of Drama & Music
Suite Française with Queen’s Wind Ensemble and RND Senior Band

This concert program is inspired by French culture, folklore, and tradition. Suite Française by French Composer Darius Milhaud is the perfect example. In 1944, Milhaud wrote this cornerstone work for Wind Ensemble inspired by folk songs from five different regions of France. 45 years later, his contemporary colleague Jan Van der Roost used the same composing process in his four-movement piece entitled Suite Provençale. Henri Tomasi needs no introduction. In his Ballade pour Saxophone, arranged for Wind Ensemble by Albert Fasce, and inspired by poet Suzanne Malard, the composer divides his piece into three sections connected without a clear break: andante, jitter, blues, with Scottish folk melodies scattered throughout. “Entre la joie et la douleur, qu’un saxophone Hésitant !” This piece will feature co-winner of the 2023 Queen’s Concerto/Aria Competition, Hayden Landolt, on Alto Saxophone.

This year, musicians around the world were saddened to hear of the passing of Robert W. Smith, prolific band composer and music educator. In a Gentle Rain (from the Willson Suite) composed by Mr. Smith is a tribute to his memory and all that he brought to the lives of wind players over the last 40 years. Sean O’Loughlin’s Spirals of Light highlights the way that light and sound are full of many colours. This celebration of light will leave the audience smiling with its splashes from the woodwinds, fanfares from the brass, and crashes from the percussion section.

For this concert, the two wind and percussion ensembles will join forces to perform Canadian composer Pierre La Plante, In the Forest of the King, A Suite of Old French Songs.

The Queen’s University Wind Ensemble, directed by Dan Tremblay, is open to all members of the University community by audition. The Wind Ensemble usually meets twice a week and performs two times a year. In past years, conjunct concerts with other high-calibre Canadian wind ensembles and conductors were encouraged. Past collaborations included performances with the McGill Wind Symphony (Alain Cazes), Western University (Colleen Richardson), UofT (Gillian MacKay), and the Central Band of the Canadian Forces (Capt. Fullerton). The Wind Ensemble is performing a repertoire of classic, contemporary, and newly composed music.

The RND Senior Concert Band is conducted by Instrumental Music Teacher and Department Head of the Arts, Justine Lord. The Senior Band is comprised of high school students in grades 10 to 12 and meets once per week for rehearsals. Most recently, the students have been attending band clinics led by local musicians and adjudicators, Kornel Wolak, John Kraus, and Dan Tremblay. In its history of over 20 years, the Senior Band has travelled to international cities to compete in the WorldStrides Heritage Music Festivals including New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and London, England. Currently, the band is preparing to travel to New Orleans to participate in a music festival in April 2024.